Kolkata: Rohit Sharma smashed a scintillating 98 not out at the Eden Gardens as India recorded a comprehensive 45-run win over the West Indies in their World T20 warm-up match in Kolkata on Thursday. (Highlights)
Continuing with his love-affair at a venue where he had scored an ODI world record 264, Rohit plundered the Windies attack with seven sixes and nine fours in his 57-ball unbeaten 98 to power India to 185 for six. (India Women’s Cricket Team Warm-Up With Easy Win Over Ireland)
In-form Rohit was in his elements in the Indian innings, though, he missed a century by two runs as he was left with just a few deliveries after Jerome Taylor picked up wickets of Pawan Negi (8) and Hardik Pandya (0) off consecutive balls in the final over. (MS Dhoni Best-Ever India Captain by Far, Says Ravi Shastri)
Rohit finally got the strike in the fourth ball of the final over and raced to 98 with a boundary over fine leg but failed to score in the next two deliveries to miss the mark by two runs in front of a 30,000-plus crowd.
Yuvraj Singh played a fine cameo of 31 from 20 balls as the third wicket partnership of 89 from 46 balls between him and Rohit lifted India from 62 for two at the midway stage.
In reply, the West Indies were bowled out for 140 in 19.2 overs with the Indian bowlers coming up with an impressive showing. Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya took two wickets apiece while Harbhajan Singh and Jasprit Bumrah got a wicket each.
The Windies were off to a flying start with Chris Gayle (20 from 11 balls) on fire but the big hitting opener was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah in his first over before Pawan Negi (2/15) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/26) came into the attack and ran through the West Indian middle-order.
Gayle took the attack on the Indian bowlers with Ravichandran Aswhin and Harbhajan Singh starting the proceedings. The Indian duo leaked 26 runs in the first two overs with the big-hitting Jamaican on fire.
Returning from an injury lay-off, Mohammed Shami was hit for two boundaries as Windies raced to 35 for no loss in first three overs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought in Bumrah and he was right on target, castling dangerman Gayle with a full length delivery.
Shami made it 40 for two in the next over dismissing the other opener Johnson Charles (18). When their batsmen needed to build up partneships, the West Indies seemed clueless to the spin pair of Negi and Jadeja who made merry.
Shami looked fully fit and returned with two for 30 before Harbhajan cleaned up the tail.